Author Topic: Grand Canyon of Nakhon Ratchasima - Weather-sculpted ravine draws visitors  (Read 658 times)

Offline thaiga

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Weather-sculpted ravine draws visitors to community forest

An area of unusually shaped rocky outcrops inside a community forest is getting a lot of attention from visitors, and local organisations want it declared a new eco-tourism site.

The weirdly weathered ravine, light-heartedly dubbed the "Grand Canyon of Nakhon Ratchasima", is in Hup Yai community forest between tambon Tha Jalung in Chok Chai district and tambon Nong Yang in Chalerm Phrakiat district.

Rachaen Prakobkit, assistant chief of tambon Tha Jalung administration organisation, and conservationists took reporters to visit the area.

Many of the stones are weather-carved into fantastical shapes and fossils are scattered through the area, which covers 3 rai inside the forest.

Sua Rakpa, chairman of Hup Yai forest conservation group, said the community forest extends over more than 1,400 rai, and the so-called Grand Canyon is in the area between Ban Ngiew village of tambon Tha Jalung and Ban Khok Wangwon village in tambon Nong Yang.

The formations, which somewhat resemble ancient stone ruins, are found at several spots along the ravine. Local residents refer to them as Narayana (the Hindu god Vishnu) stone ruins, Mr Sua said.

Forest runoff had eroded soil and sedimentary layers in the forest, creating a waterway about 3 metres deep, he said. Visitors could walk along this route. This is also the area where many fossils have been found.

According to local legend, the area might have been home to the King of Nagas, as there was water flowing near the stones all year round. Some call this place laplae (hidden from sight), and stories say people used to live in this forest area, Mr Sua said.

The two local communities plan to push for the area to be declared an eco-tourism site.

Weathered outcroppings in Hup Yai forest in Nakhon Ratchaima. (Photo by Prasit Tangprasert)

Local legend says the King of Nagas used to live inside Hup Yai forest, where the stunning formations are found
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